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Version 0.28: This article may not be up to date for the latest stable release of Crawl.
Cocytus is a grim and frost-bitten wasteland. Intruders will find the biting winds and icy inhabitants of the wastes impeding their progress.

The frigid cold congeals potions.

Cocytus is seven levels deep and contains the icy rune. It can be accessed via the Vestibule of Hell.

A gateway to the freezing wastes of Cocytus. From the frost-bitten lands, a cold chill touches your soul.

Cocytus entry.png Cocytus is the cold-themed branch of Hell, accessible from the Vestibule of Hell.


General Hell monsters

2 Hellion.png Hellion 2 Tormentor.png Tormentor L Ancient lich.png Ancient lich L Dread lich.png Dread lich

Branch specific

s Simulacrum (monster).png Simulacra W Freezing wraith.png Freezing wraith C Frost giant.png Frost giant C Titan.png Titan J Azure jelly.png Azure jelly
b Shard shrike.png Shard shrike R Wendigo.png Wendigo 9 Nargun.png Nargun 1 Ice Fiend.png Ice fiend


C Antaeus.png Antaeus

Useful Info

Cocytus is 7 levels deep and populated by several kinds of "ice"-themed monsters, of which ice fiends and powerful simulacra are the most dangerous if you lack proper cold resistance. Wendigos will turn those simulacra into blasts of ice, while Narguns will petrify and punch through ill-suited characters. You'll also meet several undead dragons and draconians, titans, elemental wellsprings, and shard shrikes. All the while a mystical Hellish force will assault you as is usual for all Hell branches, causing multiple nasty effects.

As far as layout goes, Cocytus is fairly open with several streams and lakes of deep water. Like the other hells, Cocytus' first 6 floors are much shorter; containing one staircase up and down.

The last level of Cocytus contains the icy rune of Zot, which is guarded by Antaeus and a multitude of ice fiends.

Hell Effects

In addition to the universal forces of hell, Cocytus's bitter cold congeals potions, preventing them from being used inside. (no permanent damage is done)


Cocytus is one of the harder Hell branches, and you should not venture here until you've cleared almost everything else in the game, aside possibly from Zot:5, the Tomb, Pandemonium, and Ziggurats. Having as much cold resistance as possible is strongly recommended, with rC+ being a strict minimum.

Flying is useful throughout the branch, and especially on the final floor to navigate the sometimes vast expanses of water. In absence of flight, translocations such as Passage of Golubria can also make your travel through the waterlogged levels of Cocytus much more efficient.

Having access to fire-based attacks or powerful Fire conjurations such as Fire Storm will make your journey much smoother, as the vast majority of monsters in Cocytus are not resistant to fire, and many are even vulnerable to it. Holy wrath weapons are also very effective. See the Antaeus article for advice on defeating the branch's boss.

Tips & Tricks

Keep in mind that an elemental wellspring's Primal Wave can cover you and your adjacent hexes with (temporarily summoned) shallow water, rendering any stairwells inaccessible. For that reason, if you are in a static defensive position, staying 2 squares away from the stairway will keep the stairway open for any possible escape.


In ancient mythology, Cocytus was one of the rivers in Hades, with the most famous one being the Styx. In Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy, Cocytus is the ninth and final circle of Hell, where traitors are imprisoned in its frozen waters along with Satan.


  • Prior to 0.28, Cocytus did not render potions within unusable, had regular sized floors, had a weaker set of monsers (no Wendigos or Nargun), and had a different and slower set of hell effects.
  • During the Christmas holiday of 2014 and 2015, online Crawl servers renamed Cocytus to the North Pole:
This gateway leads to the North Pole.

The North Pole is a festive place, home to all the world's good cheer.

The North Pole is seven levels deep and contains the icy rune. It can be accessed via the Vestibule of Hell.

This had no effect on gameplay, and was just plain silly.

  • Prior to 0.20, many rune level layouts in Cocytus required flight or use of translocations to access the rune vault.
  • Cocytus got a new layout in 0.12.
Dungeon branches
Dungeon exit.png The DungeonTemple entry.png The TempleDepths entry.png The DepthsZot entry.png Realm of Zot
Lair entry.png The Lair ( Spider entry.png Spider's NestSnake entry.png Snake PitSwamp entry.png The SwampShoals entry.png The ShoalsSlime entry.png Slime Pits)
Orc entry.png Orcish Mines ( Elf entry.png Elven Halls) • Vaults entry.png The Vaults ( Crypt entry.png The CryptTomb entry.png The Tomb)
Abyss entry.png The AbyssPandemonium entry.png PandemoniumHell entry.png Hell ( Cocytus entry.png CocytusDis entry.pngDisGehenna entry.png GehennaTartarus entry.png Tartarus)
See also: Portal